Heat’s Role in Solution Electrospinning: A Novel Approach to Nanofiber Structure Optimization

Michael Wildy, Wanying Wei, Kai Xu, John Schossig, Xiao Hu, Dong Choon Hyun, Wenshuai Chen, Cheng Zhang, Ping Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we explored an innovative application of heat-assisted solution electrospinning, a technique that significantly advances the control of phase separation in polystyrene (PS) fibers. Our experimental approach involved the use of direct heating and a convection air sheath applied through a coaxial needle, focusing on solvents with varying vapor pressures. This method enabled a detailed investigation into how solvent evaporation rates affect the morphology of the electrospun fibers. SEM and AFM measurements revealed that the application of direct heating and a heated air sheath offered precise control over the fiber morphology, significantly influencing both the surface and internal structure of the fibers. Additionally, we observed notable changes in fiber diameter, indicating that heat-assisted electrospinning can be effectively utilized to tailor fiber dimensions according to specific application requirements. Moreover, our research demonstrated the critical role of solvent properties, particularly vapor pressure, in determining the final characteristics of the electrospun fibers. By comparing fibers produced with different solvents, we gained insights into the complex interplay between solvent dynamics and heat application in fiber formation. The implications of these findings are far-reaching, offering new possibilities for the fabrication of nanofibers with customized properties. Furthermore, this could have profound impacts on various applications, from biomedical to environmental, where specific fiber characteristics are crucial. This study not only contributes to the understanding of phase separation in electrospinning but also opens avenues for further research on the optimization of fiber properties for diverse industrial and scientific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7982-7991
Number of pages10
JournalLangmuir
Volume40
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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